Senior Consultant (Water Security)

Oxford Policy Management (OPM)

Oxford, , GB

Oxford Policy Management (OPM) is seeking to recruit a full-time Senior Consultant (Water Security) to join our global water team based in Oxford, UK. Details about the role are given below, and more information about OPM can be found at the end of this document.

Our dedicated water team works across both WASH and Water Security issues, and we have worked on water security projects in more than 13 countries. Our water experts specialise in water economics and finance, alongside broader technical areas of diagnostics, monitoring and evaluation. We have a strong track record in delivering high-quality results for clients including the World Bank, DFID, UNICEF and the Governments of Tanzania and Pakistan, amongst others. More information about OPM’s water team can be found here.

Some of OPM’s recent water security projects 


  • Analysis of climate finance flows to the water sector, for WaterAid. We carried out case studies in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Zambia to map which types of water programmes were funded through climate finance.
  • Economic analysis of climate adaptation options in DFID’s WASH programmes, including case studies in Sierra Leone, Malawi and Tanzania
  • Development of a framework for Water Security and Climate Resilient Development for the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), to guide the integration of climate resilience into basin management in five African basins.

Policy implementation

  • Supporting climate-resilient water management in five South Asian countries, as part of OPM’s management of DFID’s five-year £23m Climate-Proofing Growth and Development in South Asia project.
  • Under the above project, OPM drew up a Strategic Policy Framework for the Water Sector in Afghanistan, following an assessment of climate risks to livelihoods, including land degradation and water availability. In India, OPM is supporting the design of the State Water Strategy for the state government of Bihar, and building the capacity of the state government of Chhattisgarh to plan and manage water resources under current and future climate change scenarios.

Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Designing and implementing the monitoring framework for a drought and flood early warning programme implemented by MercyCorps in Uganda (2016-2019), through a DFID Innovation Grant.
  • Supporting the Government of Tanzania to improve water resources management and WASH outcomes by carrying out an evaluation of Phase 1 of the US$ 1 billion Water Sector Development Programme (2007-2014).
  • Evaluating Water Witness’s social accountability monitoring programme in Tanzania, which aimed to use citizen engagement to hold River Basin Offices accountable for their engagement with small-holder farmers and communities.
  • Carrying out the evaluation of the Stockholm International Water Institute and Coca Cola’s small grant programme aiming to promote water resource management and climate change adaptation across 21 countries, including case studies in Bangladesh, Jordan and Russia.

Detail about the role 

To give you a flavour for the role, here are some of the things you would have done after a year of working for OPM:

  • Advised the Ministry of Water in a Southern African country on how to develop a monitoring framework for water resources management.
  • Presented the results of our evaluation of SIWI and UNDP’s water grant programme at a conference.
  • Carried out a trip to India, where you had helped strengthen the capacity of the government of Chhattisgarh State to plan and manage water resources under various climate change scenarios
  • Written a briefing note on how to monitor the environmental resilience of river basins.
  • Enjoyed a lunch-time walk through Christchurch College Meadows with a colleague from OPM’s climate change team, to brainstorm on the challenge of climate ‘proofing’ water security policy initiatives.

Your responsibilities will be centred on the following tasks and functions:

  • Undertake a broad range of technical work on the OPM Water Team’s consultancy assignments (60% of your time)
  • Support the strategic development of the company’s clients and markets within the water security sector. This entails expanding our networks with clients and collaborators, and developing technical and financial proposals for water security projects, initially with oversight and support from senior colleagues and later independently (20% of your time)
  • Manage projects to a high-level of quality, professionalism and rigour, ensuring that projects are delivered to maximise OPM’s social (i.e. non-profit) impact objectives (20% of your time)
  • Contribute to OPM Water Team’s intellectual capital through capacity building of colleagues, publications, innovation and developing technical resources to be used across the company
  • Foster good relations with clients, including partner government ministries
  • Take a proactive approach to personal and career development, by keeping abreast of latest developments within your technical areas, and taking opportunities to attend internal and external courses as appropriate

Successful applicants must have:

  • An excellent academic record including a Master’s degree in a relevant subject (e.g. economics, engineering, hydrology, hydrogeology, ecology or a relevant social science discipline)
  • Extensive experience working in developing countries and/or transitional economies
  • Extensive experience in sectoral planning in the water resources sector, preferably having implemented or advised on the implementation of national water sector development programmes
  • A track record of relevant analytical work on water resources sector, preferably regarding the financing aspects and monitoring aspects of water sector policy implementation.
  • Knowledge and understanding of water security policy and practice, and an ability to apply this knowledge analytically and practically
  • Experience of consultancy assignments and a solid understand of the consultancy market on water security
  • The ability to be both a team player and to use their own initiative to prioritise work and handle competing demands appropriately
  • The ability to communicate effectively with colleagues and clients both verbally and in writing
  • The ability to be flexible and take on new challenges

Additional preferred experience:

  • Experience of evaluation assignments
  • Experience of developing project proposals and preparing project budgets over £200,000
  • Experience of project management, including the management of large project teams
  • Interest in also working on WASH projects
  • Ability to work in at least one relevant foreign language

This is a permanent position that is ideally full-time and ideally based in our offices in Oxford, UK. We are however open to more flexible working from elsewhere in the UK or from one of our international offices, in the medium term. The role will involve regular overseas travel to ensure effective design and implementation of projects (20-30% of time spent travelling).

At OPM, we only have four grades of staffing. Assistant Consultants typically join straight out of post-graduate training. Consultants join with work experience, some management experience, and have a good understanding of the consulting marketplace. Senior Consultants are able to take on large management and business strategy responsibilities and Principal Consultants are thought-leaders in their area of specialisation.

To submit an application please fill out the form online and submit the requested documents. Please contact [email protected] with any queries about the process and we will be happy to help, however applications should not be submitted via email.

The closing date for applications is Friday  24th March 2017.

What’s it like working at OPM, and why should you join our growing global organisation? Watch this video to see what our colleagues have to say.

Thank you for considering OPM and we wish you all the best for your application